Q1 2018 EPS Estimates for American Express Company Raised by William Blair (AXP)
American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) – Equities research analysts at William Blair upped their Q1 2018 earnings estimates for shares of American Express in a research note issued on Thursday. William Blair analyst R. Napoli now expects that the payment services company will earn $1.61 per share for the quarter, up from their prior estimate of $1.50. William Blair has a “Outperform” rating on the stock. William Blair also issued estimates for American Express’ Q2 2018 earnings at $1.67 EPS.
American Express (NYSE:AXP) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 18th. The payment services company reported $1.50 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.47 by $0.03. American Express had a net margin of 14.48% and a return on equity of 22.75%. The firm had revenue of $8.44 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $8.31 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.24 earnings per share. American Express’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.5% compared to the same quarter last year.
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Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the company. BidaskClub raised American Express from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 30th. Barclays PLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $83.00 price target on shares of American Express in a research note on Thursday, July 20th. Guggenheim reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 price target (up previously from $90.00) on shares of American Express in a research note on Saturday, July 22nd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $95.00 price target on American Express and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, August 19th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised American Express from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $96.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, August 29th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $90.66.
Shares of American Express (AXP) opened at 92.09 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $81.41 billion, a PE ratio of 18.89 and a beta of 1.21. American Express has a 12 month low of $65.03 and a 12 month high of $93.35. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $89.20 and a 200 day moving average of $83.54.
Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. MCF Advisors LLC grew its stake in American Express by 0.3% in the second quarter. MCF Advisors LLC now owns 1,286 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $108,000 after purchasing an additional 4 shares in the last quarter. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA grew its stake in American Express by 30.4% in the second quarter. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA now owns 1,288 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $109,000 after purchasing an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. Capital Analysts LLC bought a new position in American Express in the second quarter valued at approximately $115,000. MV Capital Management Inc. grew its stake in American Express by 3.5% in the second quarter. MV Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,448 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $122,000 after purchasing an additional 49 shares in the last quarter. Finally, SRS Capital Advisors Inc. grew its stake in American Express by 10.3% in the first quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 1,476 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $116,000 after purchasing an additional 138 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 82.77% of the company’s stock.
In other American Express news, insider James Peter Bush sold 10,230 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $90.55, for a total value of $926,326.50. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Vice Chairman Stephen J. Squeri sold 94,792 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.41, for a total value of $8,096,184.72. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 261,665 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $22,348,807.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 164,133 shares of company stock valued at $14,056,033. Corporate insiders own 0.67% of the company’s stock.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 6th will be paid a $0.35 dividend. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.52%. This is an increase from American Express’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.32. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, October 5th. American Express’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 26.97%.
American Express declared that its board has authorized a share buyback plan on Wednesday, June 28th that authorizes the company to repurchase $4.40 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the payment services company to purchase up to 5.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
About American Express
American Express Company, together with its subsidiaries, is a global services company. The Company’s principal products and services are charge and credit card products, and travel-related services, which are offered to consumers and businesses around the world. Its segments include the U.S. Consumer Services (USCS), International Consumer and Network Services (ICNS), Global Commercial Services (GCS) and Global Merchant Services (GMS).
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